You ask the questions: (Such as: Twiggy, did you inhale, and if so, what? And what kind of name is that, anyway?)

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Lesley Hornby, aka Twiggy, 49, was born in Neasden, north-west London. Aged 15, she was discovered by the Sixties entrepreneur Justin de Villeneuve, while working part-time in a Neasden hairdresser's. One crop and a photo-shoot later, she was declared "The Face of 1966".

She is married to the actor Leigh Lawson, and lives in London. She has a grown-up daughter, Carly, and a stepson, Ace.

How do you feel about the modelling industry's appetite for stick-thin models? Do you think you set the precedent?

Jean Morris, Aberdeen

I'm always asked this question. I think one only has to look back through the fashion magazines of the Twenties and Thirties to see that, in fact, models have always been thin. I am just the one that everyone remembers as the so-called first waif. But I think because designers prefer to design clothes for slim women and magazines prefer taking photographs of clothes on slim women, they will always be preferred.

What's irritated you most in the last week?

Nick Palmer, Hants

Having my local supermarket stop stocking two of my favourite items - with no explanation.

Have you ever felt that you've been exploited in any way?

Julie Ainsworth, Ipswich

No, not really. I have always been aware and in control of my career, so exploitation hopefully hasn't really happened.

Do you fear getting old?

Angie Fowler, Liverpool

No, not really. It's inevitable for everyone. Worrying about it won't stop it happening. Staying healthy is more of a concern, so I do what I can through diet and exercise to look after myself.

Who's your favourite fashion photographer?

Sam Rogers, Sussex

Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, John Swannell, Barry Lategan and Brian Aris. They're all brilliant in their own right.

Do you ever think that the fact that you can still remember the Sixties so well means that you weren't really there?

Suzie Bacon, Lincoln

Not at all. I think this saying just came about through the drug culture and presumably a lot of those people couldn't remember much. I never did drugs, but I was definitely there and working hard, and making a living.

Did you inhale? And if so, what?

Charlotte Dugdale, Windsor

I do smoke cigarettes occasionally. I think I'm what is called a social smoker, but I should quit.

Do you think you'd have been so successful modelling in the Nineties?

Jayne Percival, Colchester

I have absolutely no way of knowing.

Do you regret not taking part in the sex, drugs, rock'n'roll aspect of the Sixties?

Terri Odell, Streatham

Absolutely not. I'm healthy. I'm happy. I think I look OK for my age and I'm still here.

Have you ever felt that fashion is shallow and pretentious?

Petra Collins, Camden

Personally I love clothes, but it certainly doesn't rule my life. I am very involved in many other things. I also love shopping, so I suppose the answer to that question is: "No". It would be a very boring world if everyone dressed the same and there was no freedom of choice. I think fashion helps you express yourself.

Do you regret leaving school so early to go into modelling?

Tessa Jackson, Chislehurst

Not at all. I've had an amazing life and career. It was an extraordinary thing that happened to me and although I certainly wouldn't recommend teenagers leaving school early, in my case I'm glad I did.

What do you think about models smoking?

Charlotte Peel, Chelmsford

We all know how bad smoking is for you, but I really do think it's a personal choice.

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JP Hollingsworth, St Helens

Here. I'm very content to be home right now, as we travel so much and spent most of the summer doing a play in New York. I'm relishing being at home. My favourite evenings are cooking with my husband Leigh and having dinner with him and my children, Carly and Ace.

Would you encourage your daughter to be a model?

Karen Hagan, Cardiff

Doesn't really apply, as she's a wonderful, talented artist and that's the road she's pursuing.

Would you ever consider plastic surgery? And if so, where?

Ellie Winter, Ramsgate

Not at the moment. Who knows, down the line? I've no idea where.

Do you approve of Page Three models?

Louisa Ellis, South Glamorgan

Why not? It's not my cup of tea but I think it's pretty harmless.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Jez McEwen, St Ives

Being a good mum and wife.

Whom do you prefer, Radiohead or Oasis?

Gina Morgan, Guildford

Out of the two, Radiohead definitely, but give me Paul McCartney or Joni Mitchell any day.

Who thought of the name "Twiggy"? Did you like it?

Henrietta Paige, Bath

My first boyfriend's brother nicknamed me Twiggy and it stuck. I never really think whether I like it or not; it's my name. Everyone calls me Twiggy or Twiggs. It's not just a professional name.

Were there a lot of drugs in the modelling business in your day?

Toni Bell, Putney

Certainly not that I was aware of. It didn't enter into my life or work at all.

When did you last feel really sad, and why?

James McAndrew, Newcastle

When I lost my dear friend Linda McCartney - one of the loveliest ladies on the planet - a light went out of my life. I really loved her.

What was the last book you read?

Genevieve Coe, Hampstead

I've just finished Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. Brilliant.

What gives you the most pleasure in life?

Deena Hasketh, Stevenage

Being with my family. It's the best.

`Twiggy: In Black & White', by Twiggy Lawson and Penelope Dening, is published by Simon & Schuster, price pounds 6.99

You Ask The Questions

Next Week: Tony Benn, Then Following, AA Gill

Please send any questions you would like to put to Tony Benn and columnist AA Gill, to: You Ask The Questions, Features Department, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5DL. Or by fax on 0171-293 2182 or e-mail to: yourquestions@ independent.co.uk - by noon on Friday, 23 October

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